living in the ‘Land of Smiles’

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai – Fourth of July Goes Off With a Bang

Via: City News – Chiang Mai

Hot dogs, beer, and fireworks, it seemed liked the River Market restaurant could have been in any town in the United States on Wednesday when the crowd gathered to celebrate American Independence Day.

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Between the music, barbecue, friendly conversations, and good natured ribbing of our Canadian cousins the only thing that seemed to be missing from the celebration would have been some cold Budweiser. The festivities at River Market started in the afternoon and were slow at first, but in the evening around eight o’clock just before the fireworks show, the restaurant was packed and getting a can of beer at the bar had become a herculean task.

The River Market, being a relatively new restaurant, just celebrated its first 4th of July this year, but hopefully the event will become an annual tradition. The location, next to the Iron Bridge, made it perfect for launching fireworks over the river and its open lawn in the back worked wonderfully for hosting the Auzie John Experience who played rock tunes all afternoon for the guests.

The owner, David Anichowski, of the local American restaurant chain Duke’s, was running around the entire time all over the establishment checking on everything and never seemed to stand still for more than a few seconds. When asked for a comment about the festivities, this reporter was told “I got no time for you pal.”

Talking with Americans in attendance brought about a wide range of opinions about how they liked to celebrate the holiday, ranging from one girl in her twenties, Blaire, explaining that she and her friends like to celebrate by “doing American things like eating barbecue, getting drunk, listening to Bruce Springsteen, and talking loud.” She explained also that she and her friends had all gone out and bought the most patriotic second hand clothing they could find to fully get in to the spirit of things. On the opposite end of the spectrum was a slightly different attitude, exemplified by John Schmidt, an expat who looked to have been in Thailand longer than he could remember, who said he likes to go out and see other Americans, but still “pretend[s] like it’s any other day.”

This type of dichotomy existed all throughout the Americans in attendance. The people who were living in Chiang Mai for short periods of time, less than a couple of years, who already had planned to make their expat lives temporary were generally much more nostalgic for the US and liked the celebration because it scratched a homesick itch. For the lifers who had decided to permanently move to Thailand, there was a different timbre in their voices as they thought it was nice to see other people from their homeland and to have a hamburger, but they were not nearly as attached to the holiday.

Non-Americans who attended the celebration also seemed to be having a wonderful time at the celebration. A Canadian couple was celebrating their first Independence Day at the bar and enjoyed how friendly and happy every there was. A few Ukrainian girls said that they liked the party atmosphere and Soe Lay from Burma said that he enjoyed the American food while he was eating a rack of barbecue ribs.

In the past the American Consulate hosted a Fourth of July party, but has now turned the event over to the local community.

According to members the local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) post, they became involved in 2008 and hosted jointly the party jointly with the consulate at first, but then fully took over in 2009. The VFW hosted a large party at the football stadium for a couple of years, but because of their own problems with hosting such a large event, they ceded control in 2011 to Creative Kingdom. After Creative Kingdom was not interested in hosting another large party this year.

River Market quickly organised the event and obtained music and fireworks for the celebration.

http://www.chiangmaicitynews.com/news.php?id=551

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related post:

Chiang Mai – ‘The River Market’

https://seattle99.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/chiang-mai-the-river-market/

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July 8, 2012 - Posted by | entertainment, restaurants | , , , , , , ,

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